lowest-latency audio interfaces for Mac?

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2,550
I'm about to purchase an audio interface for my MacBook. Is there anything that has equivalent or lower (round-trip!) latency than the Apogee Duet / Duet2 / One products in that same price range or less?

I don't need more than 2 channels for input and might live with mono as I'm mostly using this for my guitar.
 

vicdeluca71

Member
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1,519
Are you having problems with latency? I'm only as asking because I have a 2009 Mac with Duet 1 and have zero latency issues,the Duet 2 is rated at a lower latency than the first.
 

Nelson89

Member
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3,615
I use the duet 1...i think they're worth it. The duet is probably the single best $500 i've spent on my studio gear.
 

Reincaster

Member
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746
Eleven rack was perfect for guitar, vocal, everything pretty much! Especially on the Mac. Although, the Duet is a great, cheaper option.
 
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2,550
Thanks for the responses so far.

To clarify I'm not using this for recording.

I'm using this for playing live, so the latency must be unnoticeable from guitar thru software modeler to output monitors. I know the duet can get low enough latency to achieve this and that there are some more expensive options that get even lower latency that the duet1/2.

What I'm wondering is if anything else that is the same cost or cheaper than the duet can achieve round-trip latency that is equally low or lower. If not, I'll buy one of the duets.

I'm matching this interface up with S-Gear for playing live using my MacBook Pro.

I'd be really interested in seeing some real numbers if someone has done the comparison officially...
 

weshunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,498
Duet is the way to go, no question -- never had a single issue with mine, latency is seemingly non existent, sound quality is top notch (including outputs which will be good for you for live use).

i also have an 11 rack which has great sounds in it and i love it, but i wouldn't use it (and don't) for a straight up interface if i wasn't using the on board sounds.
 
Messages
2,550
Duet1 or Duet2? Preference? I know the 1 has slightly more latency, but the reviews for the Duet2 I read from folks actually using it were surprisingly negative...
 

GilH123

Member
Messages
71
I use the Line6 UX2 with PodFarm. I have no latency or tracking issues whatsoever, and most of the models and effects sound very realistic. At less than $200, you can't beat it.
 

weshunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,498
i have the duet 1 and have never used the 2, so i can only speak to the former, but it's really killer, especially with logic/mainstage
 
Messages
2,550
I have a Line6 UX2 as mentioned above. It would be interesting to measure roundtrip latency for both it and the duet to compare. I suspect the duet is considerably better, but do not have the data to prove this.

How do you folks measure the roundtrip latency? Some sort of tool preference for this?
 
Messages
2,550
I just read that Apogee Symphony achieves 1.5 ms round-trip when paired with Logic. Also, saw this confirmed at 1.6 in an independent test. That's pretty amazing...

I looked into the Symphony Mobile product, but it turns out it has been discontinued. I think they are prepping for the new Thunderbolt interface vs. continuing to invest in PCI.

Has anyone heard of any other interfaces achieving comparable latency? I have not.
 

Nelson89

Member
Messages
3,615
Pretty sure symphony is the fastest, but its at a much higher price point than the duet or whatever...maybe see if you could try a couple out? I doubt you'd be disappointed going with the apogee, the Duet1 is probably the most stable interface i've used, and there doesn't seem to be any noticeable latency when playing through amp sim's, though i've never used it live as you're intending. I can't imagine it being bad at it. Maybe try a store that has a good return policy and test out a couple.
 

Strat

Member
Messages
3,927
Regardless of which you choose you will notice it live a bit but becomes a non issue soon. I play guitar live with the Duet (1) No problem. Buy used one.

I just read that Apogee Symphony achieves 1.5 ms round-trip when paired with Logic. Also, saw this confirmed at 1.6 in an independent test. That's pretty amazing...

I looked into the Symphony Mobile product, but it turns out it has been discontinued. I think they are prepping for the new Thunderbolt interface vs. continuing to invest in PCI.

Has anyone heard of any other interfaces achieving comparable latency? I have not.
 

donbarzini

Member
Messages
3,220
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/musi...erface-low-latency-performance-data-base.html

Some good info in this thread...RME always comes out on top. Check out the Babyface.

Used Duet 1 for a long time, never a problem. Duet 2 has been so unstable, popping, clicking, shutting off, flashing screen, etc. I installed the latest October Drivers, no change. Bought a RME Babyface, installed drivers, not one problem since. No pops when sleeping, no clicks, etc. Audio quality is pristine through Adam A7X Monitors.
 

fisticuffs

Member
Messages
5,401
Seems to be latency gets better with each new product release and every new cpu. You really aren't going to find anything unusable. Line 6 was just in with the Propellerheads Balance interface and I guess it breaks new ground in terms of latency. Probably not the interface for everyone but you can plug in a mic, guitar, and line source all at once and switch between them with hardware buttons. And it looks nifty.
http://www.fullcompass.com/product/414755.html
 




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